GAMBIA: Barrow sworn-in, warns soldiers to stay in Barracks
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GAMBIA: Barrow sworn-in, warns soldiers to stay in Barracks (video)

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Barrow says Gambia will not quit ICC

Gambia’s president-elect, Adama Barrow was on Thursday sworn in as Gambia’s president at the country’s embassy in Dakar, Senegal.

The new president after his inauguration sent out an order to Gambian soldiers to remain in their barracks.

“Those found illegally holding arms will be considered rebels,” he warned.

This effectively means Gambia now has two presidents. The incumbent, Yahya Jammeh, whose tenure expires today, has refused to step aside after he lost the elections in December last year.

While West African leaders’ appeal to Mr Jammeh to quit has not moved him, they have threatened to remove him by force.

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So far, there have been reports of the Economic Community of West African States  (ECOWAS) troops gathered on the border between Senegal and The Gambia to escort Barrow to Banjul.

According to the BBC, Mr Barrow took the oat of office thus: “I, Adama Barrow, do swear that I’ll well and truly prosecute the functions of office of the president of the Republic of The Gambia. That I will preserve and defend the constitution,” he said.

Ambassadors to Senegal, the UN envoy for West Africa and top officials from the regional ECOWAS bloc were said to have attended the ceremony, while hundreds of Gambian expatriates gathered outside the compound.

ECOWAS and Senegal are seeking backing from the UN Security Council for intervention, even as they have promised to enforce a transfer of power in The Gambia, by displacing Jammeh.

However, some diplomats said if Mr Barrow, 51, requests help after his inauguration, such approval would not be needed.

Jammeh’s wife and children are alleged to have also fled the country for fear of military confrontation with ECOWAS troops.

Meanwhile, incoming reports say the Nigerian Airforce is overflying The Gambia, even as troops have crossed the border from Senegal into Gambia.

There are hopes that Jammeh who has ruled over the country for 22 year will reconsider and return to the negotiation table by finally accepting to step down, and save the country from a full blown military action.

 

 

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